Navigate Up
Sign In
studentcentralstaffcentral
 

 Content Editor

 
 

 Enhancing Higher Education Conference

 

The University’s Annual HE Pedagogic Research Conference will be held on Friday 3rd February 2017 and you are warmly invited to reserve this date in your diary. We are particularly pleased that Rhona Sharpe, Professor of Learning and Teaching, Head of OCSLD and Deputy Director of HR at Oxford Brookes University, has kindly agreed to give the Introductory talk this year. The programme of Parallel sessions and abstracts are shown below.

Parallel Session 1 (10.15 - 10.55 am)
Engaging students in research - Dr I Pantelidis The promise of technology - Dr F Handley Promoting Educational Inclusivity using discussion blogs - R Carden and M Curdy  Accelerated learning at Masters' level:  Dr N Dearnley Why do applied science students find the science part of their degree difficult? Dr D Sarker 
Parallel Session 2 (11.00 - 11.40 am)
Beyond Representation in Pedagogic Research in HE Dr J Canning Enhancing  learning through the use of  high quality 3D resources - Dr C Smith  International students: can UK universities bridge the academic and cultural gap? G Hicks and T Clementson  A comparison of values based recruitment and traditional interview methods - Dr N Dunne  The impact of non traditional working patterns on practice placements - S Elliott
Parallel Session 3 (12.00 - 12.40 pm)
Students'  experience of assessment during practice education: Dr J Morris and Dr P Vuoskoski  Improving student success and engagement with learning analytics - Dr K Piatt and J Bailey  Students’ experiences of Masters dissertation supervision - J Anderson and Dr J Price The ebb and flow of social capital within a European Education network - N Muir Stories of student experiences - D Watson
Parallel Session 4 (12.45 - 1.25 pm)
Text and hypertext: Emerging research strategies - R Walker Using simulation to enhance learning - H Horobin Enhancing College Higher Education Scholarship and Student Learning - J Brewer    What Works? Some tried and tested actions to improve student retention - R Bowden, J Fowlie, M Fyvie-Gauld, Dr L Guy and J Jones  Can the use of placement passports during practice-based education promote partnership and a catalyst for growth? Dr J Morris and S Ryan

Introductory talk (9.15 am - 10.10 am)

 
Researching digital literacy within an institutional context
Professor Rhona Sharpe, Oxford Brookes University
 
 
This presentation will explore the role that local research can play in understanding learners’ experiences of technology.  In the last 15 years there has been an explosion of research into how learners are using technologies to support their studies and this remains an active and important research area. From large-scale survey studies to collective inquiries to capture learners’ voices, we know all sorts of things about learners that we didn’t know before. Why then do we still need local research into digital learning?
With a focus on the development of digital literacy, this presentation will reflect on the role that institutional research has played at Oxford Brookes to create our definition of digital literacy and evaluate the extent to which it has been embedded into the curriculum. Along the way we will reflect on the role of research in shaping technology enhanced learning at the programme and institutional level. 
 
Biography:
Professor Rhona Sharpe is Head of the Oxford Centre for Staff and Learning Development at Oxford Brookes University. She has led a number of university wide projects including embedding graduate attributes in the curriculum, evaluating student support and developing learning analytics. She and her team also run workshops, online courses, and offers consultancy for higher education institutions across the UK and internationally.
Rhona’s interest in the role of technology in learning led her to direct a number of learner experience research projects in both further and higher education. She is interested in the processes by which we design online learning spaces and the digital literacies and attributes that learners need in order to learn well in them.  She has co-edited two books: Rethinking learning for the digital age (2010) and Rethinking pedagogy for the digital age (2013). Her latest book is 53 Interesting ways to support learning online (2016).  
 
Publications:

Parallel sessions 1 (10.15 am - 10.55 am)

Room A500, Level Five, Checkland Building
Engaging students in research: an example based on the digital branding of hospitality companies
Ioannis Pantelidis, School of Sport and Service Management
 
This session focuses on a methodology that enhances students’ experience by bringing research into the classroom, enabling social-science students to engage in experiments and see the results in much the same way as physical-science students can. The research was conducted in hospitality management and investigated social media digital branding of hospitality companies; but the session will provide opportunities to discuss how the methodology could be applied to other disciplines and contexts.

As part of the research, a brand scoring system has been developed. Student focus groups were then mentored in using this scoring system. The exercise utilised a focus group technique that draws upon Gamson's (1992) "peer group conversations" and Press and Cole's (1999) "ethnographic focus groups" both of which modify traditional focus group methodology.  As such focus groups tend to be smaller than those of traditional market research, the participants (students) are not strangers to each other and the setting of the research in a very familiar environment (classroom) enhances the naturalistic feel of the study for the participants. This approach provides rich and relevant research data whilst at the same time educating the students about recent industry trends as well as consumer behaviour issues. The scoring system approach appears in a book chapter that has been published very recently Pantelidis (2016)
Current findings suggest:
·         the technique provides valuable insights to all involved stakeholders (students, industry, researchers)  
·         the technique can be adapted for use in many management and social science contexts.
 
Background references:
Gamson, W. A. (1992). Talking politics. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Pantelidis, Ioannis (2016) The changing consumer: ‘digital cruising’ In: Weeden, Clare and Dowling, Ross, eds. Cruise ship tourism. CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, pp. 348-360. ISBN 9781780646084           
Press, A. L., & Cole, E. R. (1999). Speaking of abortion: Television and authority in the lives of women. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press

 
Room A501, Level Five, Checkland Building
The promise of technology: investigating the use of digital technology in curriculum design
 Dr Fiona Handley, Centre for Learning and Teaching 
Curriculum design is an under researched area of higher education practice, despite being a key influence on learning, teaching and assessment environments.
 
This session includes a presentation of initial research into the role and influence of digital technologies in curriculum design. It will consider the various understandings of the curriculum (Fraser and Bosanquet 2006) based on Bernstein’s (2000) work on the curriculum as a field of recontextualisation, and begin to explore how institution wide initiatives such as the introduction of virtual learning environments, institution-level approaches to blended learning, and digi-champ projects relate to these. This exploration can contribute to a much larger discussion around the contested role of technology in educational change (Selwyn 2011), that challenges technocentric narratives of progress.
This is an important topic as it responds to continuing interest in the role of technology in higher education e.g. (Selwyn 2011 2nd ed 2106), and increased interest in analysing curriculum change (Roberts 2015). It is also institutionally relevant as it relates to the current development of the University of Brighton’s Curriculum Design Initiative.
This work-in-progress will inform the development of the Curriculum Design Initiative at the University of Brighton and the resources that support it.
 
Background references
Fraser, S. P. and Bosanquet, A. M. (2006);The Curriculum? That’s Just a Unit Outline, Isn’t It?, Studies in Higher Education, 31 (3) pp. 269-284.
Selwyn, N. (2011) Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates, London: Continuum.
Other references cited:
Bernstein, B. (2000) Pedagogy,Symbolic Control and Identity: Theory, Research, Critique, Lanham, M.D,: Roman and Littlefield.

Roberts, P. (2015) Higher Education Curriculum Orientations and the Implications for Institutional Curriculum Change, Teaching in Higher Education, 20 (5) pp. 542-555


 
Room E424, Level 4, Checkland Building
Promoting educational inclusivity through the use of discussion and discourse blogs: an example involving international business students
Rachael Carden, Brighton Business School and Marion Curdy, Information Services
 
Through observation of the Financial and Management Accounting learning taking place in first year undergraduate classes of International and non-International Business students it appears that there may be an increased ‘learning leap’ (Cousins, 2009) required for non-native English speaking International Business Students compared to their native English speaking peers. Our study investigates the uses of peer learning through an online discussion board to address these issues and to enhance learner inclusion.
 
The working hypothesis for this small scale study is that there are confusions which impact learning in accounting subjects. Many factors contribute to these confusions but in non-native speakers of English may include misunderstandings of accounting and financial lexis including false friends (terms which appear similar in other languages but actually have other meanings in English) or cognates (terms which have the same spelling and meaning in other languages). Another possible factor impacting learning efficiency may be conceptual differences caused by mathematical pedagogies encountered in other educational institutions.
 
Discussion boards were set up for two seminar groups. Lexis based and numerically based concept questions were uploaded each week and the students were invited to contribute. The contributions were analysed at the end of the year. Students were invited to comment upon the usefulness of the discussion boards through a Qualtrics Survey.
 
The findings were mixed for a variety of reasons including competition with other social media platforms, poor timing of introducing the scheme (at the beginning of semester two) difficulties using the discussion board itself and lack of buy in correlating to non-assessed practices. The fact that students were setting up their own social media study groups showed that they were willing and able to use these media. There are other studies that suggest that different learning styles enjoy different modes of interpersonal communication both with their peers and with their tutors. The discussion boards offer this extra medium.
 
Background References:
Brittan-Powell, C., Legum, H. & Taylor, E. (2008). The relationship between student learning style, selection of course delivery format, and academic performance. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 5, 5, 41–46.
Cheng, G. & Juliana Chau (2016) Exploring the relationships between learning styles, online participation, learning achievement and course satisfaction: An empirical study of a blended learning course British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 47 No 2 2016 (pp.257–278)
Hrastinski, S. (2009) A theory of online learning as online participation. Computers and Education Vol 52,Issue no.1) pp 78-82
Huang,E.Y.,Lin,S.W.& Huang,T.K.(2012).What type of learning style leads to online participation in the mixed-mode e-learning environment? A study of software usage instruction. Computers & Education, 58, 1, 338–348.
Jukes, I.; McCain, T.; Crockett, L. (2010). Understanding the digital generation. Kelowna, B.C.: 21st Century Fluency Project & Corwin.

Room B407, Level 4 Checkland Building
Accelerated learning at Masters' level: Case-Based Learning of Diagnostic Reasoning skills by Physician Associate Students?
Dr Nicola Dearnley, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
The first cohort of Physicians Associate (PA) students commenced at BSMS in September 2016. The 2 year postgraduate course is delivered at Masters level and requires students to assimilate diagnostic reasoning skills equivalent to graduating final year medical students. These skills therefore must be developed at an accelerated trajectory. As such the PA faculty has developed an explicit strategy in the development of these skills. This has taken the form of framework lectures and Case Based Learning with a diagnostic reasoning focus.
 
Case Based Learning (CBL) sessions involve facilitated group discussion around a dedicated clinical case. This is aligned to learning outcomes in the curriculum which has a phased integrated approach, placing delivery of biomedical knowledge before exposure to clinical practice. Structured ‘mind mapping’ is utilised following an ‘illness script’ format (a mental representation of illness) which is then used to develop learning objectives around the clinical case. These place emphasis on producing and justifying potential differential diagnoses and guide further self- directed learning which is then shared at a subsequent review meeting.
 
This study will adopt a mixed methods approach to investigate how the Case Based Learning scenarios influence the development the PA students’ diagnostic reasoning.
Diagnostic Thinking Inventory: This is a validated 41 question inventory designed to measure 2 aspects of diagnostic thinking: degree of flexibility in thinking and degree of knowledge structure of memory. This produces a score which can be compared to standardised groups at different levels of medical training.
 
Questionnaire: A questionnaire designed by the CBL faculty to evaluate students’ self-reported engagement, diagnostic thinking, and learning using 7 point Likert scales and free text boxes.
hese will be completed by participants at the end of each term of Year 1 in order to map the trajectory of learning relating to their diagnostic thinking. Results of the first round of assessments will be available at the time of the research conference. This study aims to apply existing knowledge about Case Based Learning to the Physician Associate cohort. This will help inform the BSMS curriculum in subsequent years, as well as potentially impacting on the wider understanding of Case Based Learning as an educational technique.
 
Background references:
Thistlewaite, JE. Davies, D. Ekocha, S. Kidd, JM. MacDougall, C. Matthews P, Purkis, J. Clay, D. The effectiveness of case-based learning in health professional education. A BEME systematic review: BEME Guide No. 23. Medical Teacher 2012;34(6)e421-44.
Williams, B. Case based learning – a review of the literature: is there scope for this educational paradigm in prehospital education? Emerg Med J 2005;22;577-581
Durham, C. Fowler, T. Kennedy, S. Teaching Dual-Process Diagnostic Reasoning to Doctor of Nursing Practice Students: Problem-Based Learning and the Illness Script. Journal of Nursing Education. 2014 53(11)646-650

Room E512, Level Five, Checkland Building
 
Why do applied science students find the science part of their degree difficult? The example of chemistry as part of a pharmacy degree
Dr Dipak Sarker, Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences
 
Science education and grounding forms a fundamental part of many professional degrees, such as those in the healthcare sectors. A knowledge of fundamentals both applied and conceptual is required in order to proceed with some success in undertaking the full remit of this complex multidisciplinary kind of job.
 
This research focusses on the course content, assessments and professional registration exam, which is based on much of the content and skills1 of the MPharm degree. Typically on a course the breakdown of marks is, science (chemistry): therapeutics (biology): pharmacy practice 1.00: 1.13: 1.382. Academics are left pondering why does this disparity occur? Additionally, where an average of 36% was scored for an end of year science paper, marks ranged from 7.5% to 62%. How can students score 7.5% for a subject they have been studying for at least 3 years?
Our hypothesis is a lack of engagement and motivation for these chemistry themes and their relevance. Variable intake skills may also contribute to a discrepancy. Unfortunately, other subjects suffer as a result of poor science underpinning3. Method aims at finding the root cause of “science avoidance” sampled by questionnaire. Given the evidence, differences in course design and modes of delivery of essential material are expected. One idea proposed as a solution has considered support classes or courses prior to the real start of the course. The findings showed that for about half of students the science component was their least favourite part of the course. Many students, disliked the mathematical aspects of the science base in particular. Recently the School had poorer performance in professional registration exams3.4 based on calculations. A suitable modification of pedagogic approach and practice will be used. This should mean a better pass rate in the University and registration exam4.
 
Many colleagues from biology and engineering to business studies and psychology (disciplines often involving numeracy, logic and core scientific knowledge) find themselves facing a student population with weaknesses in these disciplines, based on flawed basics and a failure to understand and explain in quantitative terms. This talk is aimed at a wider audience when these issues prevail.
 
Background references
Miller, G. (1990) The Assessment of Clinical Skills/Competence/Performance. ‎Academic Medicine, 65: s63-s67.
McClure, J., Meyer, L.H., Garish, J., Fischer, R., Weir, K.F. & Walkey, F.H. (2011) Students’ attributions for their best and worst marks: Do they relate to achievement? Contemporary Educational Psychology, 36(2): 71-81.
Lapiņa, I. & Ščeulovs, D. (2014) Employability and skills anticipation: competences and market demands. Procedia - Social & Behavioural Sciences, 156: 404-408.
Wass, V., Van der Vieuten, C., Shatzer, J. & Jones, R. (2001) Assessment of Clinical Competence. The Lancet, 357: 945-949.

 

Parallel sessions 2 (11.00 am - 11.40 am)


Room A501, Level Five, Checkland Building 
Beyond Representation in Pedagogic Research in Higher Education
Dr John Canning, Centre for Learning and Teaching
 
Representational ideas about teaching, learning and assessment construct a narrative which connects aims and objectives with processes and outcomes in a linear manner. This produces research which can neglect consideration of occurrences which happen outside a ‘conventional’ linear path of enquiry. Non-Representational Theory (NRT)  offers possibilities for a beyond representational account of what happens in a learning and teaching setting, going beyond the process driven nature of most pedagogic research. 
Developed in the 1990s by geographer Nigel Thrift, Non-Representational Theory (NRT) is concerned with ‘the geography of what happens’ (Thrift 2007). Rather than on focusing on products and outcomes, NRT focuses on what actually happens as opposed to what is supposed to happen. Much of what ‘happens’ is unreflective or precedes the process of reflection
In a recent paper (Canning, forthcoming) I briefly explore the potential of NRT as a framework for researching the student voice. This emphasises the embodied experience of student voice as opposed to focusing on formalised and normative narrative structures such as the National Student Survey (NSS) and student representatives. Understandings of the student voice which go beyond representation can liberate teachers from problem and solution based approaches which emphasise the role of structures.
In this session I will develop these ideas further exploring the potential and challenges for student voice research posed by a theory which ‘describes and presents’ rather than ‘diagnoses and represents’ (Cadman 2009), drawing on empirical treatments of NRT such as those of Dewsbury (2015). Although not seeking to present a unified theory, NRT is a potential lens for exploring teaching and learning practices across a variety of contexts.
 
Background references
Cadman, L. (2009) Nonrepresentational Theory/ Nonrepresentative Geographies. In: International Encyclopedia of Human Geography, edited by Kitchin, R. and N. Thrift, 456-463. London: Elsevier
Canning, J. (forthcoming) Conceptualising student voice in UK higher education: Four theoretical lenses. Teaching in Higher Education
Dewsbury, J D. (2014) Non-representational landscapes and the performative affective forces of habit: from ‘Live’ to ‘Blank’- cultural geographies 22.1, 2014
Thrift, N. 2007. Non-Representational Theory: Space, Politics, Affect. Abingdon: Routledge.
 
Room E424, Level 4, Checkland Building
Enhancing learning through the use of high quality 3D resources that engage students and challenge their spatial ability
Dr Claire Smith, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
 
Errors in medicine and healthcare are on the rise. Learning anatomy is essential and dissection of donors is the gold standard. However, students learn outside of contact hours and hence there is a need to provide high quality 3D resources that engage students and challenge their spatial ability.  This project encompasses TEL in recognising different learning preferences to improve knowledge application.
The project took a recently deceased donor and scanned using High-Resolution Computed Tomography. The scan data underwent structure segmentation and a range of 3D-printed anatomical models, pertinent to the Year 1 and 2 students were produced. A mixed-methods study was carried out to evaluate the educational value of the models; this comprised of 1) a quantitative pre/post-test to assess change in learner knowledge following 3D-printed model usage in a small group tutorial; 2) student focus groups; and 3) a qualitative student questionnaire regarding personal student model usage based upon a longer period of exposure.
The use of 3D-printed models in small-group, gross lung anatomy teaching session resulted in a significant increase in knowledge  (p = 0.0006) when compared to didactic 2D-image based teaching methods. Medical student focus groups yielded six key themes regarding the use of 3D-printed anatomical models in undergraduate anatomy education: model properties, teaching integration, resource integration, assessment, clinical imaging, and pathology and anatomical variation. Questionnaires detailed how students used the models in the home environment and integrated them with anatomical learning resources such as textbook and anatomy lectures.
 
This project has advised other HEI on the set up of 3D printing. Whilst this examples uses medicine and anatomy as a discipline its principles are related to wider healthcare studies and to disciplines which have a high spatial ability need.
 
Background references:
Fernandez RD, I; Smith, C. Spatial Abilities of expert clinical anatomists: comparison of abilities between novices, intermediates, and experts in Anatomy. Anat Sci Educ. 2011;4:1-8.
Lim KH, Loo ZY, Goldie SJ, Adams JW, McMenamin PG. 2016. Use of 3D printed models in medical education: A randomized control trial comparing 3D prints versus cadaveric materials for learning external cardiac anatomy. Anat Sci Educ 9:213–221 (in press; doi: 10.1002/ase.1573).
O'Reilly MK, Reese S, Herlihy T, Geoghegan T, Cantwell CP, Feeney RN, Jones JF1. Fabrication and assessment of 3D printed anatomical models of the lower limb for anatomical teaching and femoral vessel access training in medicine. Anat Sci Educ. 2015 Jun 24.

Room A500, Level 5, Checkland Building  
International students: to what extent can UK universities bridge the academic and cultural gap?
Theresa Clementson and Gary Hicks, Language Institute
 
What are international students’ expectations of pre-sessional courses and what do they hope for on their degree courses in the UK? This talk is based on 2016 pre-sessional students’ answers to these and other questions in ongoing research carried out by two University of Brighton EAP teachers.  The participants were expecting a general English language course. Our students’ perceptions of their learning was less about language and more about developing academic and intercultural skills, which they viewed as new and essential for all international students, regardless of language level.
This research ties into the debate about internationalisation. The current focus is on how EAP can bridge the academic and cultural gap. However, our ongoing research will enable us to reflect on the academic realities for international students as they progress through their degrees.  This longitudinal study uses a qualitative approach. The eight participants will take part in one focus group and three semi-structured interviews in the period between the pre-sessional course and the end of semester 2. Current findings focus on these students’ academic expectations and realities up to the end of the pre-sessional course and include their experiences in semester 1.  
Academic skills are key to successful pre-sessional courses. However, many international students do not require a pre-sessional course. A clear implication is that all international students would benefit from studying these essential academic skills alongside their degree programmes.
 
Background references
Koutsantoni, D., Developing Academic Literacies: Understanding Disciplinary Communities’ Culture and Rhetoric. Bern: Peter Lang. (Chapter 7: ‘Rhetoric and national cultures: cross-cultural variations’. Chapter 8: ’Developing academic literacies’).
Bangeni, B and Kapp, R. 2006. “‘I want to write about the Dalai Lama …’ Literacies in Transition”. In Thesen, L. and van Pletzen, E., eds.  2006. Academic Literacy and the Languages of Change. London: Continuum.
Badenhorst, C., Moloney, C., Rosales, J., Dyer, J., & Ru, Lu., 2015. ‘Beyond deficit: graduate student research-writing pedagogies’ Teaching in Higher Education, Vol. 20, No. 1, 1–11. [online]. Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13562517.2014.945160. Accessed 14/11/2016
Palloff, R.M. and Pratt, K. (2005) Lessons from the Virtual Classroom: The Realities of Online Teaching. Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory and Practice vol 17, Issue 2 (pp264-269)
Salmon, G. (2000). E-moderating: the key to teaching and learning on-line. London: Kogan Page

Room B407, Level 4, Checkland Building 
A comparison of values based recruitment and traditional interview methods in recruiting students with high levels of emotional intelligence and the impact on retention, and academic and clinical attainment
Dr Nina Dunne, School of Health Sciences
 
The recruitment, selection and retention of potential students onto a BSc programme is of paramount importance and therefore recruiting the right candidates that can cope with the demands of a professional course is vital.  There is concern about the admission criteria and whether this has an impact on the successful progression of students (Shulruf et al 2011).  This raises important questions regarding how to assess people who are not only capable of completing an academic programme, but also people that possess the qualities required for clinical work and therefore have a degree of emotional intelligence during the interview process.
 
There have been a few studies exploring emotional intelligence (Cadman and Brewer 2001, Rankin 2013, Por et al 2001).  However these studies cannot be compared as they used different tools to measure emotional intelligence. However, none of these studies assessed whether it was possible to test emotional intelligence during the interview process and whether values based recruitment could be a method in order to assist with this or whether traditional interview methods would be more suitable. 
 
The research project presented in this session is a cohort study using both retrospective data collection and cross sectional data collection.  Data on retention and academic and clinical attainment will be retrospective. Data on emotional intelligence will be via a questionnaire.  It is expected that the results of the study will provide information on the right interview method to adopt in order to recruit more clinically and academically able students. 
The results of this study could help other institutions delivering professional health related courses decide on the best recruitment method.
 
Background references
Cadman, C. & Brewer, J. 2001. Emotional intelligence: a vital prerequisite for recruitment in nursing. Journal of Nursing Management, 9, 321-324.
Rankin, B. 2013. Emotional intelligence: enhancing values-based practice and compassionate care in nursing. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69, 2717-2725.
Por, J., Barriball, L., Fitzpatrick, J. & Roberts, J. 2011. Emotional intelligence: Its relationship to stress, coping, well-being and professional performance in nursing students. Nurse Education Today, 31, 855-860.

Room E512, Level 5, Checkland Building 
The impact of non traditional working patterns on practice placements: a study of Physiotherapy students' experience
Sarah Elliott, School of Health Sciences    
 
Many physiotherapy services are now providing a seven day service, with extended hours or twilight services, so student placements may be offered across a seven day week instead of the traditional five, and may extend later in the evening with some students experiencing a 12 hour shift pattern. This is a new experience for both physiotherapy students, practice educators and universities and currently little literature exists on this topic.
 
Practice based education is central to physiotherapy student’s education and their preparation for professional qualification and practice and can be defined as learning in the workplace. Learning in the clinical environment focuses on real problems in the context of professional practice, theory taught at an academic institution is consolidated into practice and students learn to combine and integrate knowledge, skills and attitudes, values and philosophies of the profession.
 
As a doctoral student I believe physiotherapy needs to embrace these changes and explore models of practice based education to ensure that the next generation of physiotherapists develop the necessary attitudes and skills to take the profession forward in times of rapid changes of a health care service that is becoming increasingly complex with the burdens of fiscal restraint and increased demands on accountability and increasing workloads, (Strohschein et al, 2002). My research, utilising hermeneutic phenomenology has explored the experiences of physiotherapy students, practice based educators and university link tutors in a seven day model of working. Semi structured interviews were conducted and data analysed and interpreted by thematic analysis
 
Whilst universities embrace the concept of seven day working, findings demonstrate that physiotherapy students are not prepared for non-traditional working patterns and express difficulties in adapting to inconsistent working patterns and shift work. This manifests itself as a perception that their development is slower, they report difficulties with communication and managing patient caseloads. They also struggle to manage university and family life around shift patterns. There is also a need for practice based educators to review the delivery of teaching and learning for this new way of working.  Academic curriculums for physiotherapy should include training in shift work and non-traditional working to help prepare physiotherapy students for practice based education. There is also a need to encompass and encourage assessment on learning, as additional skills and knowledge in respect of communication, confidence and feeling more prepared for real life by participating in seven day working were expressed by the participants, but they did not relate these achievements as a measure of their learning. The question raised by Morris (2011) that students place too much emphasis on 'assessment as learning' as opposed to 'assessment for learning' appears still to be very much the concern.
 
Background references

 
Parallel sessions 3 (12.00 - 12.40 pm)

Room A500, Level 5, Checkland Building
Students' experience of assessment during practice education: the example of pre-registration physiotherapy students
Dr Pirjo Vuoskoski and Dr Jane Morris, School of Health Sciences
 
Assessment and practice education remain important elements of the overall student experience, particularly in the context of the health professions. However, results of the National Student Survey and University of Brighton Student survey indicate that students are discontented with the quality of the feedback and assessment they experience.
 
This session is based on research that examined students’ experience of assessment processes within a professional practice setting, as an integral part of two pre-registration physiotherapy courses (BSc and MSc), at the University of Brighton.  The research findings are likely to be of interest to all those who teach on courses that involve practice placements.
 
In the HE arena of the health professions, work-engaged learning opportunities and student assessment processes are mandatory elements of the pre-registration professional education and curricula. In the literature, practice placements are appraised as potential sources for making student learning and curriculum more relevant, facilitating professional learning and self-improvement, preparing students for professional practice, and enhancing the development of professional identity of the student (e.g. Laitinen-Väänänen, 2008; Dall’Alba, 2009; Webster-Wrigth, 2009; Trede, 2012). Similarly, the potentiality of assessment in the enhancement of student learning and self-improvement in those settings is highlighted (Segers & Dochy, 2001; Morris, 2003; Clouder & Toms, 2008), also in a wider sense linked to lifelong learning and practice improvement (Boud, 2000, 2007; Boud & Falchikov, 2005, 2006; Morris & Stew, 2013; Vuoskoski & Poikela, 2014). At the same time, it is noted that the student assessment experience is becoming an increasingly challenging area in higher education (Boud & Falchikov, 2005; Ashgar, 2012; Dearnly et al., 2013).
 
Qualitative data of students’ lived experiences were obtained after their practice placements, based on individual, face-to-face interviews, and in-depth interview techniques. Phenomenological descriptive and interpretive strategies will be implemented in analysing the data. The session will include a presentation of the findings and opportunities to discuss their implications.
 
The study has significant implications for obtaining new insights into student assessment processes related to practice placements, as a lived-through experience. This may have implications for students – in being able to relate with the experiences being explored, and educators’ appreciation of the varied ways in which assessment related to practice placements can be experienced by students, which again may have implications for their preparation for assessment and placements. It may also address needs for further research. In long term, the findings of the study may benefit all stakeholders (students, teachers, practice educators, curriculum developers) involved in the development of student assessment at University of Brighton.
 
Background references
Delany, C. & Bragge, P. 2009. A study of physiotherapy students’ and clinical educators’ perceptions of learning and teaching, Medical Teacher, 31, 402–411.
Ferns, S. & Moore, K. 2012. Assessing student outcomes in fieldwork placements: An overview of current practice. Acia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 13(4), 207–224.
Morris, J. & Stew, G. 2013. What is the Impact of Feedback as a Central Part of Formative Assessment on Physiotherapy Students Who Have Multiple Educators? International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care, 1(1), 77–89. Retrieved from DOI: 10.11120/pblh.2013.00006
Vuoskoski, P. & Poikela, S. 2015. Developing student assessment related to a work-placement: A bridge between practice and improvement. Issues in Educational Research, 25(4), 535-554.

Room A501, Level 5, Checkland Building 
What would you do differently if you knew you were top of the class? Improving Student Success with Learning Analytics
Katie Piatt, Marion Curdy and Jason Bailey. Information Services
 
The aim for Learning Analytics at the University of Brighton is to gather insights from existing student data, which lead to actions to improve our student’s satisfaction, success and retention. Learning Analytics is a current area of research interest in the UK with over half of our HE institutions reporting working towards implementation in 2015 (HeLF report).  
 This seminar reports on the current Learning Analytics pilot project with the Brighton Business School. The students have been provided with a dashboard showing their engagement and activity, including lecture attendance, grades, online activity and overall happiness. Since October 2016 we have been collecting data on:
 VLE engagement – time in seconds per day using studentcentral (student versus average)
Attendance – currently using the gradecentre (student versus average)
Happiness/status/emoji (How are you doing today)
Grades exported from the studentcentral gradecentre
 We aim to show that the student dashboard motivates students, improves performance and retention. The student dashboard is aimed at providing students with a summary of their own engagement and activity and affords a comparison to their cohort. When grades have been released or available to students we hope to demonstrate that engagement (VLE usage and attendance data) will correlate with grades/retention.
The session will also update delegates on the introduction of a student Learning Analytics app and predictive analytics reporting at the university.
Conference delegates will be able to consider how the introduction of analytics could be supported by both staff and students; to improve satisfaction, success and retention.
 
Background references:
ATIF, A., BILGIN A., RICHARDS, D., 2015. Student Preferences and Attitudes to the Use of Early Alerts. Americas Conference on Information Systems, At Puerto Rico, US
EITEL, J. M. L. A., JOSHUA, D. B., MALLIKA, D., VENNIRAISELVI, S. & SANDEEP, M. J. 2012. Mining academic data to improve college student retention: An open source perspective. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge, 139-142.
LEAH, P. M. & DAWSON, S. 2010. Mining LMS data to develop an "early warning system" for educators: A proof of concept. Computers & Education, 54, 588-599.

 
Room E424, Level 4, Checkland Building 
Students’ experiences of Masters Dissertation Supervision
John Anderson and Dr Jim Price, Brighton and Sussex Medical School
Research supervision is a common cause for complaint in PG students in higher education institutions (Wisker, 2012; Drennan & Clarke, 2009)  It has been a long-standing area of concern for us at the Brighton & Sussex Medical School – in particular, how can we best prepare our supervisors in Postgraduate Medicine MSc’s for the task?
To address this concern we conducted research into Students’ experiences of their postgraduate medicine (MSc) dissertation supervision.  We chose to adopt an Interpretive Phenomenological Approach. Invitations to participate were sent to all students completing dissertations in last three years by an administrator. Interested students replied to the administrator. We then contacted them and explained the purpose of the study and arranged a suitable time and place (or telephone) for interviews. Informed consent was obtained prior to the start of the in-depth interviews which were audio-recorded. The recordings were transcribed verbatim and these were analysed using a General Thematic Analysis (1st / 2nd order abstraction) – independently assessed by both researchers. 12 Students were interviewed.  The emerging themes included:
 
  1. Personal vs Mechanistic (Self-directed / Supervisor-led) approaches
  2. Expertise : Methodology vs Clinical
  3. Structure  (MDM 10 RMCA -> Dissertation)
  4. Enthusiasm/Motivation
  5. Encouragement/Support/Advocacy
  6. Availability & responsiveness – including feedback
  7. Dissertation requirements – expectation vs period of registration
  8. Partnerships – learning contract / course leader role vs supervisor / links with other students
  9. Cultural differences (deference vs assertiveness)
Participants are invited to join in a discussion of the findings and the implications and application of these – particularly in relation to how to best prepare supervisors for the challenges of supervision.
 
Background references:
Wisker, G (2102) The Good Supervisor (2nd Edition), London, Palgrave
Drennan J & Clarke M (2009) “Coursework master’s programmes: the student’s experience of research and research supervision” Studies in Higher Education, 34, 5 pp 483-500

Room B407, Level 4, Checkland Building 
 
The ebb and flow of social capital within a European Education network
Nita Muir, School of Health Sciences
 
This presentation offers some findings from an iterative case study that explored a European Nurse Education network and its impact on the participants. Networks are an area of practice that is generally poorly explored in education with minimal literature analysing the processes, value and impact of educational networks.  Yet networks are perceived to be beneficial with multiple versions, ranging from intensive networks with close collaboration to much looser associations through networks
This pedagogic research is relevant to the context of Higher Education as increasingly universities are relying on networks and collaboration to expand within both general and disciplinary areas through increasing strategic advantage and providing wider educational opportunities for their students and staff.  Specifically, networks are assumed to be an essential component for a university to meet key aspects of their internationalisation agenda, particularly for internationalising the undergraduate curricula in the UK (Altbach and Knight, 2007; Middlehurst, 2007; Greatrex-White, 2008) and for increasing research capacity (Cooper, 2007). 
Case study methodology enabled the researcher to gather a holistic portrait of the network activity using three different methods of data collection, beginning with a focus group to frame the study.  This was followed by documentary analysis of the artefacts produced by the network and interviews with participants of the network.
Findings suggest that network activity is mediated through a form of social capital that has also sustained the existence of the network over a period of twenty years.  The presentation will conclude in reflecting on the benefits of social capital within a network activity but also on the consequences of relying on such capital to sustain its activity.
 
Background references:
MUIJS, D., WEST, M. & AINSCOW, M. 2010. Why network? Theoretical perspectives on networking. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 21, 5-2

Room E512, Level 5, Checkland Building    
Stories of student placement experience: reflections on complex practice in a mental health placement
David Watson, School of Applied Social Science
 
It is sometimes assumed that the goal of professional education is the application of theory by students to practice, with learning on placement as part of the ‘signature pedagogy’ (Shulman, 2005). However, students do not appear to use formalised theory or academic knowledge when accounting for their practice (Taylor & White, 2006; Wilson & Kelly, 2010). Both students and qualified professionals seem to use what some authors define as ‘practical wisdom’ (Hemmington, 2014), ‘practical reasoning’ (Scourfield & Pithouse, 2006) or ‘mundane reasoning’ (Taylor & White, 2006).  The University of Brighton strategy refers to ‘Practical Wisdom’ as a feature of education here, and this session is based on research that explores in more detail what this might mean in practice.
The research sought to examine the relationship between learning and teaching on a post-registration specialist mental health course and the knowledge students’ use to explain their practice on placement. This was an in-depth narrative inquiry, co-constructing a personal experience narrative. 
The participant reported finding the process useful for developing their reflective practice. There was a strong ethical dimension to the knowledge used by the participant, as well as an awareness of their legal responsibility to make a decision.  The participant also knew that their understanding of any situation was at best partial, and often constructed from a range of conflicting accounts. The research also indicates that reflective practice can support students’ interrogation of the knowledge they use, in the context of knowledge as socially constructed.  This suggest that teaching of reflective practice should also incorporate the ethical and emotional dimensions of practice.
 
Background References
Hemmington, J. (2014). Managing Uncertainty and Developing Practice Wisdom. In S. Matthews, P. O'Hare, & J. Hemmington, Approved Mental Health Practice - Essential Themes for Students and Practitioners (pp. 187-204). Basingstoke: Palgrave.
McCormack, C. (2004). Storying stories: a narrative approach to in depth interview conversations. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 7 (3), 219-236.
Shulman, L. (2005). Signature Pedagogies in the Professions. Daedalus, 134 (3), 52-59.
Taylor, C., & White, S. (2006). Knowledge and Reasoning in Social Work: Educating for Humane Judgement. British Journal of Social Work, 36, 937–954

 

 Parallel sessions 4 (12.45 - 1.25 pm)


Room A500, Level 5, Checkland Building 
Text and hypertext: Emerging research strategies
Richard Walker, Northbrook College
 
This session is based on research that evaluates how patterns in the reception, use and dissemination of texts (in printed and digital formats) are changing, and how students and staff can develop strategies to facilitate productive methods of research.
Strategies for effectively teaching and learning in HE are undergoing reappraisal and new paradigms of ‘blended learning’, ‘students as partners’ and ‘students as scholars’ are influencing the relationship between students, teaching staff, the academic community and its broader social context. As we reconsider the participatory role of ‘students as producers’ and ‘researchers’, how can scholarly activity best take advantage of conventional, digital and networked resources? How can we best help students to become ‘digital scholars’, whilst retaining academic rigour?
 
In art and design education, a high proportion of students are dyslexic or prefer visual and kinaesthetic modes of learning and find accessing texts in any form can be problematic. Nevertheless, written coursework demonstrating an understanding of textual sources comprises a significant part of academic assessment.
 
In a cycle of action research, I’ve identified difficulties students encounter with texts, found potential solutions to these barriers through strategies that encourage productive scholarship and adjusted my pedagogic approach in guiding students use and application of texts within their research.
 
Through interviews, peer discussions and surveys, this ongoing project has analysed response to various forms of text (both conventional and digital) in order to evaluate how differing formats impact on student’s effective engagement with academic reading.
 
This research has been integrated into my practice and I aim to initiate further schemes to enhance student participation and improve learning experience. These projects provide a model of practice for adaptation by other creative arts institutions, but I also propose that approaches facilitating greater ease in negotiating textual sources are relevant to a wide range of diverse disciplines.
 
Background references:
Healey, Flint & Harrington (2014) Engagement Through Partnership: Students As Partners In Learning And Teaching In Higher Education. York: HEA
Neary, Mike and Winn, Joss (2009) ‘The Student As Producer: Reinventing The Student Experience In Higher Education’, in The Future Of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience. Continuum, London
Working Group on Information Literacy, 7 Pillars of Information Literacy
http://www.sconul.ac.uk/tags/7-pillarsWeller, J. (2011) The Digital Scholar: How Technology Is Transforming Scholarly Practice London: Bloomsbury
Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL):

Room B407, Level 4, Checkland Building  
 
Using simulation to enhance learning: the experience of students in acute respiratory care
Hazel Horobin, School of Health Sciences
 
Simulation-based education (SBE) is widely used in a variety of disciplines and it has been used to successfully deliver components of healthcare for the past 40 years.  The adoption of this method of learning for some healthcare professions, such as physiotherapy, has been slower than others and consequently relatively little research has examined its impact. The aim of this study was to explore the influence of simulation-based education on students’ learning with particular regard to their placement experiences. This is something that has been introduced to clinical education only recently at UoB and the teaching team were keen to explore its impact.
Physiotherapy placement learning can be seen to occur within a community of practice; active engagement and involvement in all facets of working practice results in feelings of belonging and the sharing of social understandings (Morley, 2016). Student physiotherapists enter the challenging environments of critical care and other acute illness locations when on placement and therefore the preparation of students is crucial to enabling successful placement experiences. The adoption of a method of learning that encompasses active learning within a social context could provide opportunities to move towards closing the gap between knowledge acquisition and practice, and SBE could potentially offer an approach to this.
The study was based on face-to face interviews with students, and the data were analysed and interpreted using grounded theory.
SBE involves the learner being actively involved in a practical and sensory experience to apply theory to practice and develop skills, followed by an opportunity to reflect. The participants experienced high levels of stress during this mode of learning, but also found this stress stimulated reflective thinking that was a beneficial aspect of the learning process. These findings have important implications for the kinds of case study offered during simulation, and how simulation-based learning is supported and structured.
 
Background references:
Morley, Dawn. 2016. Applying Wenger's communities of practice theory to placement learning. Nurse Education Today 39 : 161-2.
Background references suggested reading:
Mezirow, J. 1990, Fostering critical reflection in adulthood: a guide to transformative and emancipatory learning, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.
Okuda, Y., Bryson, E., DeMaria, S., Jacobson, L., Quinones, J., Shen, B. & Levine, A. 2009, "The Utility of Simulation in Medical Education: What is the Evidence?", MOUNT SINAI JOURNAL OF MEDICINE, vol. 76, no. 4, pp. 330-343.
Silberman, N., Litwin, B., Panzarella, K., Fernandez-Fernandez, A., 2016. High Fidelity Human Simulation Improves Physical Therapist Student Self-Efficacy for Acute Care Clinical Practice. J. Phys. Ther. Educ. 30, 14–

Room E512, Level 5, Checkland Building   
Enhancing College Higher Education Scholarship and Student Learning: interim findings from the AOC Catalyst Funded Project
Jacky Brewer, East Surrey College
 
This session is based on research that forms part of The Scholarship Project. This three-year long, nationwide initiative involves forty six colleges and is designed to create a framework of support for the development of scholarly activity within College Higher Education (CHE) in Further Education (FE) colleges.
The Scholarship Project uses Boyer's (1990) scholarship of ‘teaching, integration and application’ as its theoretical framework, and it brings together teachers, students and employers. The aim is to develop a model of scholarly activity that will improve teaching and learning by transforming, transmitting and extending knowledge, and also enhancing peer support and mentoring.
Following initial reconnaissance work with a triad of colleges, three trialling and testing bids were submitted to The Scholarship Project including employer engagement, peer observation and the Continuum Model. Early evidence from the employer engagement trial suggests that ‘academic’ indicators of scholarship do not suit the more technical orientation of CHE and might not be a model that local employers want.
 
Background references:
Boyer, E. L. (1990) Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate. [online] Available: https://depts.washington.edu/gs630/Spring/Boyer.pdf (Accessed 15th February 2016)
Davy, N. (2016) Association of Colleges HEFCE Catalyst Funded Scholarship Project Survey of Current Employer Activity. AoC HEFCE Catalyst Funding Project: Enhancing College Higher Education Scholarship and Student Learning.
Lea, J. (2015) The Scholarship Project Literature Review. Association of Colleges. (Accessed 5th February 2016)
Simmons, J. and Lea, J. (2013) Capturing an HE ethos in college higher education practice. The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education [online] Available: http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/Capturing-HE-ethos-college-higher-education-practice-13.pdf (Accessed 8th February 2016)

 
Room A501, Level 5, Checkland Building    
What Works? Some tried and tested actions to improve student retention 
Rachel Bowden, Strategic Planning and Projects Office, Julie Fowlie, Brighton Business School, Marylynn Fyvie-Gauld, School of Applied Social Science, Dr Liz Guy, Computing, Engineering and Mathematics, and Jennie Jones, Centre for Learning and Teaching
 
First-year student retention remains a key challenge across UK HE. Student non-continuation may relate to: inadequate prior information about the programme and institution; finance; choice of course; academic challenges; extra-curricular commitments; belonging to the University; and friendship (Yorke and Longden, 2008; Quinn, Thomas, Slack, Casey, Thexton and Noble, 2005).
Between 2012 and 2015, the University of Brighton (UoB) took part in a national HEA project funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The ‘What Works Retention and Success Change Programme included retention interventions underpinned by evaluation in three disciplines: Business Management, Digital Media/Digital Media Development and Applied Social Science (Hastings).
These interventions adopted the principle of encouraging first year students to develop a strong sense of belonging, emphasising:  collectivism, collaboration and social participation in learning and teaching as a key motivator in order to improve student engagement, retention and success (Thomas, 2012).
The UoB conducted an annual evaluation relating to first year student experiences of: learning and teaching, and retention interventions in the three disciplines. The evaluation comprised surveys, designed by Mantz Yorke; Appreciative Inquiry focus groups with students and interviews with course staff.
The evaluation study suggests that good practice in learning and teaching emphasising social participation helps to enhance students’ sense of belonging, confidence, engagement and employability across disciplines.  Continuing challenges for students often relate to: group work; work life balance; meeting deadlines; exam stress; insufficiently interactive teaching; and insufficiently constructive feedback.
This project has enabled us to learn lessons; and produce case studies and a toolkit including examples of good practice to enhance student belonging, confidence and engagement. We would like to share some of these examples with you that may be implemented in other disciplines across the University. 
 
Background references
Quinn, J., L. Thomas, K. Slack, L. Casey, W. Thexton, and J. Noble (2005). ‘From Life Crisis to Lifelong Learning: rethinking working class ‘drop out’ from higher education’, Joseph Rowntree Foundation Report, York 
Thomas, L. (2012). ‘Building student engagement and belonging in Higher Education at a time of change’, Final Report, What Works? Student Retention & Success programme, Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Higher Education Funding Council for England, The Higher Education Academy and Action on Access.
Wenger, E. (2009). ‘A Social Theory of Learning’ (Chapter 15) in K., Illeris (ed), Contemporary Theories of Learning: Learning Theorists ... In Their Own Words, Routledge: Abingdon and New York
Yorke, M. and B. Longden (2008). ‘The First Year Experience of Higher Education in the UK’, Higher Education Academy Report, York.

Room E424, Level 4, Checkland Building      
Can the use of placement passports during practice-based education promote partnership and a catalyst for growth? The experience of Health profession students and practice-based educators
Dr Jane Morris and Sarah-Jane Ryan, School of Health Science
 
Practice placements are considered potential sources for making student learning and curriculum more relevant, facilitating professional learning and self-development (Trede, 2012; Webster-Wright, 2009). A number of students entering health professional courses have additional needs and it is essential they are fully supported in the transition from campus based learning to practice to experience high quality learning experiences in preparation for qualification.
 
Although, disclosure of additional needs has always been promoted (Equality and Diversity Act, 2010), students may initially be reluctant to disclose their needs as they do not wish to be treated as a “special case”. As a result valuable time may be  lost  on  placements  where  practice    based  educators,  who  are  also  busy  practitioners  struggle  to identify  why  students  are  finding  aspects  of  their  placement  challenging  and  valuable  time  that  could have been used to make reasonable adjustments to support their learning needs is lost. To address these concerns, the School of Health Sciences has  developed  a  placement  passport  that  has  been  designed  to  support  students’  prior disclosure of  learning  needs  including  additional  learning  needs.  Our aim was to facilitate disclosure and inclusive practice across the whole cohort and to encourage students to identify their strengths and areas for development that help in the negotiation phase of learning agreements that are routinely used on placements.
 
This session is based on research that examined the experience of students and staff using the passport. An interpretative qualitative design was used, with transcripts analysed using thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006).  Two focus groups one with  final  year  BSc(Hons)  Physiotherapy students  and  one  with  current  practice educators.  Nine participants were recruited, 4  final  year  students   and 5 practice educators.
 
Preliminary findings suggest the tool facilitates inclusivity, reflection and promotes an active partnership between learners and educators. However, some students find it challenging to disclose their learning needs, especially if educators fail to acknowledge the passport content or focus on their weaknesses. Both educators and students felt the process could be enhanced if both parties adopted a more humanistic approach promoting reciprocity in exchange of information prior to the start of each placement. There is potential for the passport to be adopted across disciplines and other Higher Education Institutes, and the session will provide opportunities to discuss this potential.
 
Background references:
Lindquist,I.  Engardt,M  Garnham,L.  Poland,F &  Richardson,B(2009)Physitherapy Students’ professional identity on the edge of working life.Medical Teacher.3.270-276.
Trede,F.Maclin,R and Bridges,D(2011), Professional identity development a review of the literature in higher education. Studies in Higher Education. 3.365-384.
Webster-Wright,A (2009)Reframing Professional Development Through Understanding Authentic Professional Learning. Review of Education Research. 79 (20) 702-739)
 

 

 

 Call for contributions

 

 

 Find out more

 
 

 Previous Enhancing Higher Education Conferences

 
Page owner: Fiona Handley